I really wanted to go to that party! And then this happened…

DEAR ABBY: My husband came down with COVID and has been having a hard time getting over it. When he first started showing the symptoms, I took him to a drive-through medical clinic and got him tested for COVID. The results were negative, so a couple of days later, I carpooled with a friend to another friend’s house where seven other friends had gathered. Several days later, when my husband still wasn’t improving, I took him to an ER where they did another COVID test. This time it came out positive.

I thought I owed it to whomever I was around at the get-together to tell them about my husband. At this get-together, we all wore masks. We took them off only to eat and then put them back on. It has been more than 14 days since my husband got sick, and although he is not yet over the virus, I haven’t come down with it.

I thought my friends would be supportive of me and what my husband is going through. However, I learned from one of these “friends” of more than 20 years that they formed a private Facebook group to discuss how each one has been doing on a daily basis, and I was not invited to participate. I feel betrayed by these paranoid friends. At this point, I don’t think I can ever look at any of them the same way. I have been contemplating ending my friendship with all of them. What do you think? — KICKED WHEN DOWN IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR KICKED: I think you should ask the friend who told you about the private Facebook group whether any of the women got sick after that get-together. If the answer is yes, make an appointment and have yourself COVID-tested — twice, if necessary — to ensure that you are not a symptomless carrier. If it turns out that you are positive, tell your friends.

If you test negative, your first priority should be to help your husband get well and protect yourself from getting the virus. As to whether you should end your relationship with these “distanced” friends, from the way they are behaving, it appears they may have ended their relationship with you, and for that you have my sympathy. (c) DEAR ABBY

Oh my. The letter writer showed extremely poor judgment. The way I’m reading it (between the lines, as usual), is like this: her husband got sick and tested negative for the virus. A few days later, the letter writer went to a gathering with several friends where they took off their masks and ate. A few days after that, her husband tested positive for the virus. At this juncture, the letter writer told her friends that her husband was ill with the virus when she attended the get-together. At the get-together itself, only the letter writer knew her husband was sick.

Yeah, her friends probably understand that the test was negative during the get-together. But they weren’t told that her husband was sick at all, and even if he had something lesser, like the flu, it’s still contagious. And no one needs a weakened immune sytem these days. That’s bad news. And then there’s the fact that the virus testing is somewhat inconclusive, as this very letter indicates.

So what we have here is a woman who went to a party without letting anyone know beforehand that her husband was sick. And she’s trying to justify her actions.

At this get-together, we all wore masks. We took them off only to eat and then put them back on. It has been more than 14 days since my husband got sick, and although he is not yet over the virus, I haven’t come down with it.

We can rationalize it all day, but in this day and age, there has to be more consideration shown for others’ health. She shouldn’t have gone to the party, but if she did go, she should’ve warned everyone else that her husband was sick (at the very least) prior to attending. Her wording is meant to make us think she did that, but she didn’t. No one else at that gathering knew her husband was showing symptoms.

I wouldn’t call her friends paranoid. “Anxious” (and rightly so) seems like a better descriptive term here. They’re afraid to catch the virus! That’s not paranoia. It’s anxiety. It sounds like the letter writer is calling her friends paranoid in a pejorative sense, like, “I did nothing wrong, and they’re acting as if I’ve ruined their lives!” But, ahem, she did something wrong. Very wrong.

Personally, I don’t fear the virus, but if I found out that someone at my party had a sick husband at home, I’d become a nervous wreck. I can totally understand that. This woman made the false conclusion that her husband’s illness wasn’t the virus (thus disallowing her friends to use their own logic), and she made the decision for all of her friends to be exposed to the illness via the letter writer’s presence.

The letter writer sounds a little self-absorbed. She told her friends about her sick husband out of a sense of duty, or so she claims. But she was hoping for sympathy and instead they gave her the gifts of suspicion and hostility. (Actually, that does sound rather paranoid. But you know what I mean.) I’d say offhand that she owes all of them a major apology. I think that these days, if we’re socializing with someone, it should be unspoken that the other person hasn’t been at home with a sick spouse, because if so, they’d stay at home and not expose the rest of us.

And when we walk past someone in the grocery store, it’s implied that they’re not nursing any sick people at home (unless there was absolutely no other way for them to get their groceries). Even I, as lackadaisical as I am about wearing a mask (I mostly put it on to avoid getting yelled at), would bend over backward to quarantine if I’d been exposed to a sick person. Would I be happy about it? No, but I’d binge-watch some television, or something. Life could be worse.

I’m not a huge fan of learning things the hard way, but what if the letter writer’s friends get the virus and die from it? Did she stop to think about that? No, she kept her husband’s health info to herself so she could go to the party. Epic fail. (Or, if she wanted to be discreet, she could’ve skipped the party altogether and given another reason for it. But what she did was wrong, wrong, wrong.)

And she knows it was wrong. That’s why she phrased her letter to make herself seem more innocent than she was. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have hidden the truth carefully between the lines. So basically what we have here is someone with a bad attitude who’s playing the victim. Like someone who refuses to take ownership and then acts all hurt when others call her out on it.

I sincerely hope that her husband’s health recovers and that everyone else involved stays well. That’s really the important thing.

3 thoughts on “I really wanted to go to that party! And then this happened…

  1. One thing I’m curious about, and the letter writer doesn’t make clear, is when the Facebook group formed. Did they decide before this that she was a dimwit, or was this in response to this particular episode of dimwittery?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting point! I read it like they formed it in response to their exposure at the party, but on second glance it seems ambiguous!! Now you’ve got me curious!! And I love the word dimwittery! 😀 It’s like badassery!! 😀 HA HA HA!

      Liked by 1 person

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